There's many a wife, whose bosom's lord

Is in his prime laid low,
Engulfed beneath the watery main,

Where bitter tempests blow;

Or crushed amid the battle-field,

Where crimson rivers flow,
Yet knew they not that deadly pang,

Which drugged her cup of woe.

Who lies so powerless on her couch,

Transfixed by sorrow's sting ? Her infant in its nurse's arins,

Like a forgotten thing?

A dark-haired boy is at her side,

He lifts his eagle eye, 6 Mother! they say my father's dead,

How did my father die ?

Again the spear-point in her breast !

Again, that shriek of pain ! “ Boy, thou hast riven thy mother's heart,

Speak not those words again;"

“Speak not those words again, my son !"

What boots that truitless care? They're written wheresoe'er she turns,

On ocean, earth, and air.

They're seared upon her shrinking heart,

That bursts beneath its doom, The duel! and the dead !!” they mark,

The threshold of her tomb.

Through all her weary, widowed years,

That broken heart she bore,
And on her pale and drooping brow,

The smile sat never more.



[There is a strange, mystic wierdness in the following lines, written by the accomplished daughter of Barry Cornwall, that can be made very effective by a suitable recitation.)

Low hung the moon, the wind was still,
As lone I climbed the midnight hill,
And passed the ruined garden o'er,
And gained the barred and silent door,
Sad welcomed by the lingering rose
That, startled, shed its waning snows.
The bolt flew back with sudden clang:
I entered; wall and rafter rang;
Down dropped the moon, and, clear and high,
September's wind went wailing by ;
6 Alas !" I sighed, “the love and glow
That lit this mansion long ago!"
And groping up the threshold stair,
And past the chambers cold and bare,
I sought the room where glad of yore
We sat the blazing fire before,
And heard the tales a father told,
Till glow was gone, and evening old.
Where were those rosy children three ?
The boy beneath the moaning sea;
Sweet Margaret, down where violets hide,
Slept, tranquil, by that father's side;
And I, alone, a pilgrim still,
Was left to climb the midnight hill.
My hand was on the latch, when lo!
'Twas lifted from within! I know
I was not wild, and could I dream ?
Within I saw the wood-fire gleam,
And smiling, waiting, beckoning there,
My father, in his ancient chair !

Oh, the long rapture, perfect rest,
As close he clasped me to his breast !
Put back the braids the wind had blown,

Said I had like my mother grown,
And bade me tell him, frank as she,
All the lone years had brought to me.

Then by his side, his hand in mine,
I tasted joy serene, divine,
And saw my griefs unfolding fair
As flowers in June's enchanted air.
So warm his words, so soft his sighs,
Such tender lovelight in his eyes.
“ O Death !" I cried, “if these be thine,
For me the asphodels entwine;
Fold me within thy perfect calm;
Leave on my lips thy kiss of balm;
And let me slumber, pillowed low,
With Margaret where the violets blow."
And still we talked. O'er cloudy bars
Orion bore his pomp of stars;
Within, the wood-fire fainter glowed ;
Weirs on the wall the shadows showed ;
Till, in the east, a pallor born
Told midnight melting into morn.

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(Every stanza of this fine piece stands out as vivid as a picture by Stavfield or Turner, and very much may be made of it in recitation, by attuning the voice and conforming the manner to the different classes of “Homes so sweetly described.]

The stately Homes of England,

How beautiful they stand !
Amid their tall ancestral trees,

O’er all the pleasant land.

The deer across their greensward bound,

Through shade and sunny gleam, And the swan glides past them with the sound

Of some rejoicing stream.

The merry Homes of England !

Around their hearths by night,
What gladsome looks of household love

Meet in the ruddy light!
There, woman's voice flows forth in song,

Or childhood's tale is told,
Or lips move tunefully along

Some glorious page of old.

The blessed Homes of England !

How softly on their bowers Is laid the holy quietness

That breathes from Sabbath hours ! Solemn, yet sweet, the church-bells' chime

Floats through their woods at morn; All other sounds, in that still time,

Of breeze and leaf are born.

The cottage Homes of England !

By thousands o'er her plains,
They are smiling o'er the silvery brooks,

And round the hamlet fanes.
Through glowing orchards forth they peep,,

Each from its nook of leaves, And fearless there the lowly sleep,

As the bird beneath their eaves.

The free, fair Homes of England !

Long, long, in hut and hall,
May hearts of native proof be reared

To guard each hallowed wall !
And green forever be the groves,

And bright the fairy sod,
Where first the child's glad spirit lover

Its country and its God !



[Among the wonderful productions of Sir Walter none are moro impressively beautiful than the “ Lag of the Last Minstrel " from which we extract the annexed very striking passage. The Lady of Branksome Tower, being beset by sore trials, determines to procuro a book of divination supposed to have beou buried with the great Wizard, Michael Scott. For this purpose she sends a chosen soldier, William of Doleraine. There are many opportunities for the exercise of forensic skill in the varying descriptive stanzas, and in the rough, rugged tones of the stern soldier, contrasting greatly with the solemn stately utterances of the aged monk.)

If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moonlight:
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray,
When the broken arches are black in night,
And each shatted oriel glimmers white;
When the cold light's uncertain shower
Streams on the ruined central tower:
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed of ebon and ivory;
When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;
When distant Tweed is heard to rave
And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave,
Then go-but go alone the while-
Then view St. David's ruined pile;
And, home returning, soothly swear,
Was never scene so sad and fair!

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By a steel-clenched postern door,

They entered now the chancel tall:
The darkened roof rose high aloof

On pillars, lofty, and light, and small;
The key-stone, that locked each ribbed aisle,
Was a fleur-de-lys, or a quatre-feuille ;
The corbells were carved grotesque and grim;
And the pillars, with clustered shafts so trim,
With base and with capital flourished around.

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